2015-04-21 Planning Board Public Meeting - Minutes


Planning Board Public Meeting

April 21, 2015 


The following minutes are a summary of the Planning Board meeting of April 21, 2015. Interested parties may request an audio recording of the meeting from the Board Secretary for a fee.

Call to Order & Statement of Compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act: Chairman Nalbantian called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. The following members were present: Mayor Aronsohn, Ms. Bigos, Councilwoman Knudsen, Chairman Nalbantian, Mr. Joel, Mr. Abdalla, Ms. Altano, Mr. Thurston, Ms. Dockray, Mr. Reilly, and Ms. Peters. Also present were; Gail Price, Esq., Board Attorney, Katie Razin, Esq., Blais Brancheau, Village Planner, Christopher Rutishauser, Village Engineer, and Michael Cafarelli, Board Secretary.

7:30 p.m. Executive Session

8:20 p.m. - Return from Executive Session.

Public Comments on Topics not Pending Before the Board – No one came forward.

Correspondence received by the Board – Mr. Cafarelli said there was a correspondence from Michele Lenhard.  


Benjamin Franklin Phase II Solar Panel and rooftop solar at George Washington Middle School Courtesy Review - Mr. Jim Wavle and Mr. Bagwill from Fister Energy talked about the freestanding solar panels that would be installed. Mr. Wavle said they would be similar to those installed in William Patterson High School. He discussed some of the details about the panels and said the panels would be tilted towards center, to direct snow sliding, the height would be 16 to 17 feet, the projected savings would be $20,000 per year, there would not be a loss of parking spaces, and no effect on bus flow. Board members asked questions about sun reflection, maintenance, other similar facilities, the effect upon an existing fence, related mechanical equipment, stormwater runoff, and the construction timeline that were answered by Mr. Wavle.


The Board voted to approve the solar panels.


World Mission Society, Church of God, Preliminary and Final Site Plan Application, 305 Godwin Avenue, Block 2403, Lot 23 - Marc Liebman, attorney for the applicant, provided a summary of the application. Robert Costa, engineer for the applicant, described the plan revisions dated April 1, 2015 marked as exhibit A-7.  He addressed issues raised in Mr. Rutishauser's report marked as exhibit B-6.


Mr. Rutishauser was asked to address any unanswered questions. He said the fixtures are problematic as the photos suggest they are more extensive than solar lights, there is conduit to the boxes, and he did not find any permits for the lights. He said if they replace the fixtures with typical shoebox fixtures that project downward without any side view it would ameliorate the problems with neighbors.


Mr. Brancheau read his report marked exhibit B-7 and said the parking is now working properly, the applicant agreed to remove two parallel spaces and one end perpendicular space. He said he would recommend being more specific about the lighting plan, as the current plan is confusing and there is little information to suggest that there is adequate lighting in the parking area. He said it could mean more fixtures and he did not want any misunderstanding between the Board and the applicant and staff reviewing the plan. 


Mr. Costa responded to Mr. Brancheau's report and said they would shield light fixtures, remove two parallel spaces, and the end perpendicular space. He said the Church is amenable to make any changes to comply with Mr. Brancheau and Mr. Rutishauser's report.


Board members had questions about the lighting fixtures, the effect of lighting on adjacent residents, safety concerns, shielding of lights and the orientation of the light fixtures. Mr. Costa said additional lighting would offend neighbors. He said they want to provide lighting for parking and keep the lights down to one to one and a half candles so as not to offend the residents and to keep the lot safe. Mr. Costa said they could shield the light effect using downward lighting.


The discussion about the parking lights continued and it was suggested the priority be shielding the lights to the neighbors and adequate lighting for attendees. Mr. Costa said he could put additional fixtures in the rear of the lot. He said he did not think the Board wants the average amount of light to increase at the rear of the lot, as this would have an adverse impact on residents and he would work with the Village Engineer and Planner to look at the lights.


Board members asked if installing lights in trees is normal practice and if installing a privacy fence would help shield neighbors from the light. Mr. Costa said it is not normal to install lights in trees and privacy fencing would not work because a high fence would be needed that would affect the residents homes.


Mr. Rutishauser responded to issues raised in his report on environmental storm water management. He said the seepage tanks are good but he is concerned about the depth and the possibility of ground water, and the west side driveway trench drain has an incorrect elevation. Mr. Costa said there was a typo on the plans and they will correct the depths for the seepage tanks.


Mr. Costa responded to Mr. Brancheau's report on the revised plans to show the rear parking area revised, a circulation scheme, elimination of parallel parking spaces, angle other parking spaces, provide greater directional controls through striping of paved areas. Parking on the east side, near the entrance several parking spaces were converted to barrier-free parking, three parallel parking spaces were eliminated, and two barrier-free parking spaces were eliminated one on the east side and one on the west side of the building. He described the work they did in response to Mr. Brancheau's report and said if they need a variance or waiver for the parking aisle width and depth, they would request one. Mr. Costa said the applicant was amenable to make any changes to comply with Mr. Brancheau's report.


Mr. Costa said he would restripe and add an additional barrier free parking space to bring the total spaces to four. He said they would stripe aisles for fire lanes so there will be no parking in those spaces to comply with the fire department.


9:30 p.m. Opened to the public.


Ms. Michele Lenhard, 22 South Hillside Place, was sworn. She said the lights are on seven days a week and the existing lights are not turned off when congregants leave. Mr. Costa said they would be willing to work with the Village professionals on the lighting issue. He said they would also work with residents to achieve a balance. Mr. Costa said they would remove or replace the lights in the trees with downward facing lights.


Ms. Price marked the photograph of the lights as exhibit L-1. Mr. Costa offered to put in evergreen plants as a buffer between the church and the residents property.


Mr. Paul Mularz,28 South Hillside Place, asked how many square feet of asphalt was added to the property since the Church took possession. Mr. Costa said 757 square feet and 491 square feet on the east side. He asked if asphalt was added to the parking lot. Mr. Rutishauser said 3,787 sq. ft. of additional impervious coverage was added and they were issued two summonses. Mr. Rutishauser said the applicant is asking the Board, after the fact, to approve changes that were made.


Mr. Mularz said the impervious coverage was added to the north and west and grandfathered

in and the Church is adding seepage pits to the south, not where the impervious coverage was added, and they were cited by the Village after the meeting.


The meeting was carried to May 19, 2015 and the applicant does not have to re-notice. Mr. Leibman asked to meet with residents.


Public Hearing: Land Use Plan Element of the Master Plan AH-2, B-3-R, C-R and C Zone Districts – Board Deliberations – Mr. Brancheau discussed his red-lined copy of the proposed Amendment to Land Use Plan Element to the Master Plan. He highlighted key changes to amend the Zoning map, eliminate property in one zone to another zone with lower density, floor area ratio and other changes.


Ms. Peters had questions about keeping the Enclave property in the B-1 and B-2 Zones. Ms. Knudsen was concerned that the density was too high. A majority of the Board agreed to move forward with Mr. Brancheau's draft plan and to schedule a public hearing on May 5. Members gave Mr. Brancheau feedback on the draft.


Approval of Minutes: The minutes from January 29, 2015 were approved as drafted.


The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 P.M.


                                                                                      Respectfully submitted,

                                                                                      Michael Cafarelli

                                                                                      Board Secretary



Date approved:


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